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South Island splendours on display at Christchurch Gallery

South Island splendours on display at Christchurch Art Gallery

Olivia Spencer Bower Queenstown and the Lake from the Snowfields date unknown.
Watercolour and pencil. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu,
purchased 1976.

Visitors to Christchurch Art Gallery can now survey the splendours of the South Island through the eyes of one of New Zealand’s best-loved artists.

Drawn from the Gallery’s extensive collection of Olivia Spencer Bower’s work, Views from the Mainland presents a special selection of South Island scenes — from the flowers in the artist’s Christchurch garden to the mighty Remarkables mountain range and Southern Lakes of Central Otago.

“The exhibition highlights Spencer Bower’s total mastery of the watercolour medium, as well as her passion for the South Island’s natural beauty,” says Gallery curator Peter Vangioni.

Spencer Bower was part of a new generation of Canterbury artists that emerged in the 1920s and 30s, including Rita Angus, Ngaio Marsh and Rata Lovell-Smith.

“She enjoyed watercolours immensely, pursuing a more contemporary and localised response to her surroundings and developing a distinctive style throughout her career,” adds Vangioni.

“Visitors to the Gallery can look forward to some wonderful and iconic South Island landscapes, superbly captured by Spencer Bower’s paintbrush.”

Olivia Spencer Bower: Views from the Mainland is on display at Christchurch Art Gallery until 2 April 2017. Entry is free.


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